A Little Too Much
Cheri rolled over without opening her eyes. She felt around for the bedside table with her watch, where she always put it when she went to sleep. She extended her arm, waving it around, trying to find the table. It wasn't there. She frowned and reached out farther. She still couldn't find it. Cheri squeezed her already closed eyes shut a little tighter and pushed herself closer to the edge of the bed, reaching out for the table that still wasn't there. She tried to push herself a little more towards the edge and all of the sudden felt herself leave the bed.
She hit the floor with a crash, taking all the blankets down with her. It was a long fall. And her bed wasn't that high off the ground. Where was she? She pushed the comforter off of her head and opened her eyes slowly.
She was definitely not in her apartment anymore. So where was she? She looked around the plain bedroom for some indication of who owned it. None. Cheri racked her brain. What was the last thing she remembered? She had been in that fancy restaurant with Eric. Oh shit. Had she slept with him?
There was a definite chance this was his apartment. They hadn't talked in a while. Maybe he'd gotten a new place.
But, oh shit, what would she tell Aiden? That she kind of slept with some other guy even though she still wants to try and be with him? Oh and the good news is she couldn't even remember the sex? No. No way. She shook her head a realized it was throbbing. Especially when she thought. She rubbed her temples and pushed the comforter off of her completely. Wait. She was still in her clothes from the date. Her black dress. It was still on. Her shoes were neatly laid next to each other on the floor at the end of the bed. She definitely didn't do it with Eric.
She stood up shakily and saw a door leading to a bathroom. She dragged herself over the sink and looked in the mirror. All of her make-up was on and her hair was a little messy. She combed her fingers through it. Then she fixed her dress. She held the doorframe, trying not to fall. Was she hung over? She was pretty sure she was.
Cheri leaned against the wall as she navigated out of the strange bedroom. She walked out into a small, neat living room area. There was a couch in the middle of the room. She crept over to it. She peered over it and saw a big, black dog curled up on the floor, sleeping. Since when did Eric have a dog? Wasn't he allergic?
She leaned over the back of the couch and looked at the man sleeping on it. It wasn't Eric. He had fairly long brown hair, a sweet, dreamy kind of smile, and a very familiar nose.
Cheri felt as though the wind had been knocked out of her. She sank down on to the floor. How the hell did she end up at Aiden's? She started to stand up when she heard him stirring. She gasped and jumped up, getting dizzy. Very dizzy. She turned to run into the bedroom and lost her balance, falling backwards onto the back of the couch. But it wasn't very sturdy. Or high. And when she tried to push herself up, she flew back, onto the couch and over the back of it. Right into Aiden's lap.
She squeezed her eyes shut, praying he wouldn't wake up. She opened one eye and looked at him. He was laying there with his eyes open and studying her in sleepy confusion. Cheri opened her other eye and they just stared at each other for a second.
"Good… morning," Cheri choked out. Aiden blinked and then burst out laughing. She shook from his laughter and just sat on him, legs still draped over the back of the couch, staring.
"I'm really sorry," she whispered, humiliated, while propping herself up with her arms which were clutching the edge of the sofa.
"Don't be," he laughed, calming down a little. "That was the perfect way to be woken up. A gorgeous girl throwing herself at me."
"I was not throwing myself at you," Cheri corrected him, crossing her arms. "I lost my balance."
"Oh sure," he scoffed good naturedly, supporting himself up on his elbows. Aiden smiled at her. She sat there, watching him watch her. Suddenly he shook his head. "I'll help you up," he offered.
"I can get up by myself," she snapped, not at all pleased with the awkward situation.
She swung her legs over to try and turn around to get up. However, she lost her balance, turned over instead of around, and found herself lying on her stomach. On top of Aiden. Who of course, beamed, his eyes dancing in amusement.
"You are horny, aren't you?" he asked, laughing at her again.
"I'm not the one with a hard on right now," she shot at him. As soon as she said it, they both realized she was right. Aiden turned bright red as Cheri pulled herself up and stood up next to the couch. The dog was still sitting there, staring at her blankly. Aiden got up and patted the dog on the head.
Cheri shifted nervously.
"Oh, don't worry," Aiden teased. "Scooby didn't see your act of desperation. She's blind."
Cheri glared at him, then comprehended the last thing he said. "Oh, Aiden, I'm so sorry. I didn't know. That's awful," she looked at the big, sad looking dog. Scooby… That's what Aiden had called her.
"She's gorgeous," Cheri told Aiden, rubbing Scooby's head. Scooby snuggled her head into Cheri's hand.
"Yeah…" Aiden agreed, looking at Cheri rather than Scooby. He startled and realized he was staring. He cleared his throat. "Do you want breakfast?" he asked.
"Oh, sure," Cheri consented, grateful for the idea. She smoothed out her dress.
"What?" Cheri growled.
"Look at you," Aiden laughed.
"What about me?" Cheri asked.
"You're wearing a dress to breakfast. And I'm wearing boxers and a T-shirt." He was right.
"So?" Cheri folded her arms across her chest.
"Well, the way I see it, I can either go put on a suit and tie so that I fit in. Or you can borrow some clothes so that you fit in." Aiden smiled, his offer hanging in the air.
Cheri sighed. She looked down at her dress. Why was Aiden being so nice? She had been a grumpy, hung over bitch all morning. For all he knew, she didn't even remotely like him. So why did he have to be so fucking sweet? Letting her stay at his apartment all night, in his bed, none the less… Wait a minute. How did she even get in his apartment? She shook her head, deciding to ask over breakfast.
"Aiden," she started, a smile spreading across her face, "I think as the host, you should try and fit in."
"Of course, madam. What was I thinking?" Aiden grinned. He went into his bedroom, leaving Cheri standing awkwardly in his living room area. When he came out, he had a tuxedo jacket on over his T-shirt and boxers. He looked completely ridiculous. Cheri tried not to laugh while Aiden kept a straight face.
"Madam, your table is ready," he said stiffly, taking her arm and leading her to his little round table with the two chairs in the kitchen area of his apartment. He pulled Cheri's chair out for her and then hurried over to the refrigerator. "Eggs, madam?" he asked, holding up a carton.
"Yes please, sir," Cheri said with mock politeness. She picked up a napkin from the center of the table and spread it over her lap, pinky up. Aiden winked at her.
"Don't do that," he laughed. "Bad girls are much hotter than proper ones."
"Oh, really?" Cheri asked, getting up from the table. She slunk over to Aiden who was trapped in the corner of the kitchen. He leaned up against the counter, eye brows raised. Cheri put her left hand on his chest and stroked the front of his jacket. She brought her hand up to wrap around his neck and leaned in, her lips barely touching his.
Aiden felt her wrap her right leg around him. He leaned back on the counter.
"This is more like it," he whispered, feeling her press her entire body into his.
She reached up with her right hand, the one on the back of his neck, and opened the cupboard above his head. She pulled out two mugs and then pivoted away from him, moving casually towards the coffee pot above the dishwasher. Aiden looked thoroughly disappointed as she fixed two cups of coffee.
"You thought I was hott, and easy?" Cheri teased, laughing. Aiden shook his head. "Nah, just easy."
Cheri slapped him playfully. She realized that was probably the first time she'd ever "playfully hit" someone since middle school. Why did Aiden make her feel so giddy? She shook her head, smiling and wondered if it really mattered that she felt a little stupid around him. He made her feel something, even if it was goofy. That was more than enough for her.
Cheri looked over and Aiden was busy adjusting the stove, a pan for the eggs already resting on it. He caught her watching him and left the stove, came over and put his arms around her. His right leg snaked around her and he pressed his lips as close to hers as he could without actually kissing her.
Cheri felt breathless, she couldn't think, her knees were weak and her eyesight was fuzzy and…
Aiden stepped back, a mug of coffee in his hand. Cheri recovered quickly and snapped out of her daze.
"What the hell was that for?" she asked, feeling Aiden's disappointment.
"You thought I was hott, and easy?" Aiden mimicked her, sipping the coffee she'd made.
"Nah, just hott," Cheri mumbled. "I mean easy. Nah just easy." She obviously hadn't recovered quickly enough. Aiden laughed at her.
He finished cooking the eggs, two scrambled eggs, and popped some toast into the microwave. After it was done, he served it with butter and cinnamon sugar then plopped the two plates down on the table for him and Cheri.
In the back of his mind he wondered how many times he'd had breakfast with Sophia, sitting at the same table, eating on the same plates, in the same chairs. A loud, clearer voice in his mind wondered how many times he'd eat breakfast with Cheri. He hoped he'd have breakfast with her for the rest of his life, then laughed at how naïve he was being. Wasn't she supposed to be fantasizing about weddings, not him?
"Aiden," Cheri interrupted his thoughts after eating half her eggs, "Thank you so much for everything. If you don't mind me asking, though, how did I end up here? It's not that I don't want to be, I just… don't remember." Cheri moved her eggs side to side with her fork. Aiden reached across the table and lifted her chin up gently with his hand so that she looking straight into his heart melting eyes.
"You were out with Eric and got drunk and called me. I was worried about you being drunk with some guy I didn't know so I went out and found you guys. He was planning on taking you back to his place to share his bed, not crash in it so I insisted on taking you with me." Aiden waited for her to answer.
Cheri felt claustrophobic. Suddenly it dawned on her that she had slept at his house; he was wearing a tuxedo to breakfast for her, he kidnapped her from a date with someone else. He was …overprotective.
"Why did you do that?" Cheri asked, feeling sick.
"I'd hate to see one of my friends get hurt, especially," Aiden paused. Cheri wondered if he would end it in those terrifying words, "especially you."
Aiden continued, "Especially," he repeated, "if there was something I could do to save them the heart ache."
Cheri felt as though a burden was lifted from her shoulders. Aiden really was perfect. He was sweet, funny, caring, the perfect balance of concerned and easy going, good looking, great chef… Cheri sighed.
"Something wrong?" Aiden asked, hearing her sigh.
"Nah," she shook her head. "I was just thinking."
"About me, of course," Aiden teased.
"Keep dreaming," Cheri giggled.
She giggled. Cheri felt like a little girl in puppy love.
"Finished?" Aiden asked, motioning to her plate which she hadn't touched in a while.
"Oh, yeah, sorry," she answered. She started to stand up to take her plate to the sink but Aiden stopped her and took both of their plates. Cheri took the coffee mugs and sliver wear. Soon, they'd straightened everything up.
"Do you want to shower?" Aiden asked, as they hovered in his kitchen. "I mean, do you have anywhere to go later?" he asked.
"I don't have any plans at all, actually," she answered. "I would love to shower, though."
Aiden gave her fresh towels, showed her how to use his shower and got some fresh clothes for her, dark grey sweatpants and a white tank top.
After she was done, he took a turn showering while Cheri sat with Scooby and flipped through the newspaper. Aiden had highlighted the titles and certain lines of some of the articles. She mused over his determination to become a journalist, impressed. When he finished, both clean, the two sank down on to Aiden's couch and turned on the T.V. Aiden turned to Cheri who was already looking at him.
"Cheri, you don't have any plans?" Aiden asked.
"Do you want to hang out, maybe stay over for the day?" Aiden suggested, hoping he didn't sound like too much of a loser.
"I'd love to," Cheri answered, beaming.
After a moment's hesitation, Aiden slipped his arm around her and she leaned into him, watching the T.V. but thinking about him.
"Where the hell were you today?" Lindsey sounded shrill and, after such a peaceful, no-pressure afternoon with Aiden, particularly annoying.
"I was at Aiden's," Cheri answered dreamily.
"Well I was at home, alone, by myself, without David, without anyone, completely deserted, abandoned and alone," Lindsey whined through the phone.
"David wasn't a Jewish Sex G-d?" Cheri teased, cynical.
"I wouldn't know," Lindsey snapped coldly.
"You turned him down? Was he too iddle widdle for Lindsey, queen of penises?" Cheri asked in mock concern. "Wait, is it 'penises' or 'penisi' or is it like moose where it's just 'penis' even if there's two?"
"I wouldn't know about his penis, Cheri," Lindsey sounded positively venomous. "And stop sounding so stupid."
"I'm being stupid? You're moping around because you didn't have sex on your first date. He was probably just trying to be appropriate and thought he'd seem pervy if he slept with you so soon," Cheri was fed up with Lindsey's obsession over minute details.
"Nope. I think he hates me. He rejected me. He rejected me. When has that ever happened before, huh? Never."
"Did you ask him to screw you and he said 'No, actually I hate you and I'm going to be the first dick head to ever refuse you?'" Cheri rolled her eyes. Over dramatic. Over sensitive. Over emotional. Over the top. Lindsey was one of the most extreme people Cheri had ever met.
"Well, no…" Lindsey sighed. "Thanks, you're right. He's probably a skeezy virgin and he's scared or something. I mean we've been making out for like months at work but I bet that's as far as he's ever been, you know?"
Cheri scoffed. David was supposed to be gorgeous. He was supposed to be the pimp. "Yeah. Definitely a virgin. He's got it written all over him," Cheri exaggerated sincerity.
"Cheri, thanks for talking to me. You always make me feel so much better…" Lindsey sounded like an eight-year-old girl talking to her mommy. Immediately Cheri felt bad for being so sarcastic.
"Any time," Cheri whispered, her voice softening.
"Hey Cheri, can I get your advice on something?" Lindsey asked.
"Yeah, of course," Cheri assured her, more than willing to be a good friend after feeling guilty for not taking Lindsey seriously.
"Do you think it'd be a bad idea to call Cleo? I mean since I'm not with David technically, it'd be okay for me to sleep with Cleo sometimes, right? So that I don't feel… dejected, you know?"
Cheri nearly laughed out loud until she realized her best friend was being serious. Screw Cleo? That was insane… Cheri shook her head. "I don't know, Linds," she sighed. "Just be careful."
"Great! I'll go call him now. Thanks, you're the best," Lindsey said quickly then hung up. Cheri stared dumbly at the phone, feeling sorry for poor, polite David. Sometimes Cheri swore, Lindsey was addicted to sex and just wouldn't admit it.
"Yeah, it really was just a huge misunderstanding… Yeah, I so still like you, Cleo, don't even say that I stopped. Shut up! Ha-ha, no. I really do miss you, baby…" Lindsey leaned back, running her fingers through her hair. She'd been on the phone with Cleo for over 20 minutes already, trying to convince him that she still "cared." Lindsey wondered if she ever really cared in the first place. Or if in a few months, she'd stop caring about David…
"Lindsey?" Cleo asked in his deep, sexy voice.
"Oh, sorry. I was just thinking about you," Lindsey lied, imagining David at the grill.
"Yeah… Well, I'll call you later so we can make plans, okay?" Cleo asked, clearly excited to be able to "make plans" with Lindsey again.
"Can't wait," Lindsey tried to sound like she was counting down the seconds, but really, she just wanted to know why Perfect David couldn't be more like Amazing Cleo. Or why Amazing Cleo couldn't be more like Perfect David.
And why weren't either of them really that Amazing or that Perfect? Because if they were, she'd only need one of them. She'd be able to make up her mind.
A/N- Okay I so offically suck. I wrote this like months ago (just like it said in my last author's note) and thought I posted it... But NEVER did. Haha okay I'm a loser. But it's okay.
So hope you lurv this chapter as much as I do. I really like the ending. Lots of Lindsey drama coming up soon. And Cheri and Aiden and their ...smooth sailing. But yeah the story's really going to pick up from here. This is more exposition-y up until here and now the kinks in the Cheri-Aiden thing are worked out (they broke up and decided they DID want to be together... or at least try it for now) and the Lindsey triangle is in motion. But wow. I have so much planned for this story.
And plus, when I finish it, I'll probably go back and edit it and possibly re-post it a better draft. We'll see. But yeah. After I finish Let Me Count The Ways and A Little Too Much, I'm going to write for myself and THEN post. Ugh. Dead lines suck.
Speaking of which, expect more soon. Like for real.
The Fourth Fate